Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Why literature is not data, and the significance of this

Many thanks to cj for sending through the link to this wonderful piece on the theme of literature not being data.

It's the kind of piece which, during times preceding the neoliberally rationalised university that has quickly evolved to the form today's algorithmic university, might have provided the catalyst for a semester-long class; a class in which participants, reading slowly, carefully, and with an historical imagination, could have pursued some heady themes in the kind of depth required by minds in the process of being educated.

I miss those times, more and more.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Job opening for Director, Center for Learning Technologies, Montclair Sate University (New Jersey, USA)


More about the job: https://app1.montclair.edu/xf/hr_jobpostings/details.php?id=510

Job description:
The mission of the ADP Center at Montclair state University (New Jersey, USA)) is to provide faculty, professionals and students in Education and Human Services with an interactive laboratory, showplace, and incubator for innovative educational technologies and a hub for trans-disciplinary research.  The ADP Center gives particular attention to fostering an appreciation for technology as a practice to improve issues of social justice across disciplinary fields. 
    
The Center is a College-wide resource that fosters collaborative partnerships among faculty and external partners by providing expert guidance and assistance on using technology in support of teaching and research. The Director works with faculty to plan, design, develop and integrate technology to address their teaching and research objectives. S/he provides a broad range of programs and services including educational and research technology planning, implementation of technology services that advance education and scholarship, and supports the development and delivery of high-quality online courses and programs in the College. In addition, s/he sponsors educational events for faculty on teaching and researching with technology and provide consultation services on instructional design, and research methods involving technology.

The Director reports to the Dean of the College of Education and Human Services (CEHS) and is responsible for developing, overseeing, and guiding the day-to-day operations and activities of the Center. Specific responsibilities include supporting faculty in the increased integration of technology in teaching and research in the fields represented in CEHS; creating and sustaining a management system and infrastructure to ensure the fiscal viability of the Center; providing leadership in developing structures, processes, and policies for the ADP Center; managing activities, personnel, facilities, and budgets; building relationships and partnerships with existing and potential community partners;  and collaborating with the CEHS Technology Services Office, the CEHS Director of Technology Services and Facilities Operations, and the University Office of Instructional Technology.  

Thursday, January 30, 2014

New book in our series: "New Creativity Paradigms"

Congratulations to Kylie Peppler on her latest book in our series (for her previous book, click here): New Creativity Paradigms: Arts Learning in the Digital Age (Peter Lang, New York, 2014; commissioned by the Wallace Foundation).

From the back cover:
Commissioned by the Wallace Foundation, this book explores research indicating that youth are learning new ways to engage in the arts on their own time and according to their own interests. Digital technologies, such as production tools and social media, allow youth to create and share their art. Kylie Peppler urges educators and policy makers to take advantage of «arts learning opportunities» and imagine a school setting where young people are driven by their own interests, using tablets, computers, and other devices to produce visual arts, music composition, dance, and design. This book gives educators an understanding of what is happening with current digital technologies and the opportunities that exist to connect to youth practice, and raises questions about why we don’t use these opportunities more frequently.
The book itself is a rich mix of theory, research and practical suggestions for classroom pedagogy. the appendices alone make this book a worthwhile buy: they list communities that support interest-driven community learning (including indicators as to whether the community or service is free or not); and apps and online platforms that support interest-driven learning. 

Contents include:

1. The Resounding Voice of Youth in a Digital Age
2. The Importance of Arts Learning
3. How Are Youths Creatively Using Digital Technology?
4. The New Digital Arts: Forms, Tools, and Practices 
5. New Media Arts, the Do-It-Yourself Movement, and the Importance of Making
6. Communities That Can Support Interest-Driven Arts Learning
7. Inviting and Sustaining Participation in the Arts
8. Challenges and Recommendations.

This is a book that's destined to find wide appeal in all sorts of education communication and media courses, not to mention proving to be useful to educators working in classrooms, after school programs, and non-profit organizations! 



Tuesday, January 21, 2014

New book in our series: Junqueira and Buzaro's "New Literacies, New Agencies"

Loads of congratulations to Eduardo Junquiera and Marcelo Buzato for their new book in our New Literacies series titled: New Literacies, New Agencies? A Brazilan Perspective on Mindsets, Digital Practices and Tools for Social Action in and out of School (New York, Peter Lang).

From the back cover:
From students as teachers’ pets to teachers as Second Life avatars, or from being ridiculed for not knowing your syntax to ridiculing others through multimodal remixing, something has changed in the way people are acting and being acted upon through literacies. From parallel text processing «under a cloud» to text-as-process enhanced by cloud computing, or from one laptop per child to several laptops left behind by children in creative spoken interaction, learners and educators’ actions through and around texts and technologies provide quite a telling example of such changes. From writing as technology to blogging as a tool for fostering critical mindsets within complexity, or from automatized knowledge acquisition routines to new forms of relating to knowledge and new perspectives on autonomy, social ordering and Self constitutional processes defy binaries such as agent/structure, global/local, social/technical, virtual/real, or even human/non-human. In this volume a team of scholars from some of the most prestigious Brazilian universities address these issues, and illustrate them with findings from research on the interplay between new literacies, digital technologies and social action in and out-of-school. The chapters introduce, or revisit, an array of theoretical constructs from education, sociology, linguistics and media studies, while presenting a new inside perspective about how research on new literacies is being carried out in Brazil. Altogether, they provide a very useful set of ideas, tools and analytical frameworks for researchers, teachers, and students of Education, Language and Arts and Communication worldwide, especially those concerned with technology-enhanced education and social inclusion.

 Contents include:

  1. Eduardo S. Junqueira/Marcelo El Khouri Buzato: New Literacies in the Context of Brazilian Historical Social-economic Inequality: Past, Present, and Future Trends 
  2. Marcelo El Khouri Buzato: Mapping Flows of Agency in New Literacies: Self and Social Structure in a Post-social World
  3. Eduardo S. Junqueira: Peer-based Work and Agency in the School Computer Lab: Learning New Literacies as a Collective Practice
  4. Vilson J. Leffa: Distributed Agency in Avatar-based Learning
  5. Luiz Fernando Gomes: If You Can’t Play, Don’t Come Down to the Playground! Agency in Brazilian Humor: Parody and Verb-visual Remix
  6. Ana Elisa Ribeiro/Carla Viana Coscarelli: Agency, Collaborative Writing, and NTICs: A Brief Analysis of Three Cases of Textual Production Using Google Docs
  7. Walkyria Monte Mór: The Development of Agency in a New Literacies Proposal for Teacher Education in Brazil
  8. Edméa Oliveira dos Santos/Tatiana Stofella Sodré Rossini: Interactivity, Agency, and Mediation in 3D Virtual Worlds
  9. Marcelo El Khouri Buzato/Eduardo S. Junqueira: Afterword: Brazil Meets Brasil: Being, Communicating, and Learning in Times of Change.

This is a wonderful summary of a range of initiatives in Brazil associated with digitising classroom learning and an excellent introduction to English-language speakers to the important work currently underway in Brazil in relation to new literacies and digital technologies. Congratulations all 'round to Eduardo and Marcelo!




El Profe 2.0!

Kudy Kalman, Irán Guerrero and Óscar Hernández, from the Laboratorio de Educación, Tecnología y Sociedad (LETS), have a new book out together titled, El Profe 2.0: La Construcciónde Actividades de Aprendizaje con Tecnologíasde la Información,la Comunicación y el Diseño (trans.: Teacher 2.0: Constructing learning activities with information, communication and design technologies). The book, written in Spanish and published in Mexico, is aimed at teachers and contains an abundance of suggestions for incorporating all kinds of digital literacies into a range of classrooms. The book is chock full of really grounded, pragmatic examples of teachers actually engaging in suggested processes and activities, and how these play out in real-world classroom contexts. These actual cases are drawn from a four-year professional development project working directly with a group of teachers in Mexican middle and high schools that has been headed up by Judy Kalman, and on which both Irán and Óscar were key investigators.

The book is written from an explicitly sociocultural orientation, and as such, grounds suggestions in a deep understanding of the everyday life of teachers and students. It doesn’t idealise classrooms and focuses very much on using freely available digital tools and services to leverage curriculum demands into something satisfying and valuable for teachers and students alike. Within this book, it’s apparent that a “Profe 2.0” is:
a teacher who understands and is in touch with how everyday people are using digital technologies to access meaningful content and ideas; finding, storing and sharing digital resources (e.g., images, videos, texts, sounds); and how affordable software and devices mean more and more that people are creating their own media and ways of conveying ideas and information. A Profe 2.0 recognises the value to be had in working collaboratively, in making room for peer feedback and accessing multiple sources of distributed intelligence and expertise, and blurring the teacher-student distinction in order to recognize everyone in the classroom as a learner and a someone with valuable contributions to make to any learning activity. All of the recommended pedagogical strategies and classroom activities described in this book tap directly into these principles and make the most of sociocultural understandings of what it means to learn, “be” and “do” online in current times.” (from the foreword).

This is a marvellous book for educators working with teachers to develop their digital literacy take-up in classrooms, and who and need a resource in Spanish. Oh, and I (Michele), wrote the Foreword, so I know first hand just how good this book is!



Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Showing a prime minister the disrespect he deserves

So, New Zealand's Prime Minister, John Key -- aka "the unidentified person," as reported by media covering Nelson Mandela's memorial celebrations -- is trying to stir up unrest over Hone Harawira's taxpayer supported trip to South Africa to pay homage to Mr Mandela's life.

Mr Harawira represents an electorate many of whose constituents and former constituents were among the spearheads of the anti-apartheid protest movement in New Zealand -- including the formidable Harawira family. He absolutely should have been in South Africa for the events. The fact that he should have been there respresenting his constituency is evident from the fact that Mr Harawira had a personal connection with Mr Mandela and, indeed, was invited to participate in Mandela family events while he was there.

The person whose presence at the celebrations genuinely is questionable is, of course, Key: a political non event at the best of times, someone truly worthy of being identified by media as "an unidentified person"; and at the same time, someone whose entourage included two National Party members who supported the 1981 Springbok rugby tour of New Zealand. How's that for a touch of class? Mr Mandela, in prison at the time, identified the anti-apartheid solidarity shown by New Zealand protestors as a ray of light in very dark times.

If there is a touch of class to be had around the occasion of Key's latest mindless bluster, it must surely be Mr Harawira's opinion piece published in the New Zealand Herald. It goes to the heart of the matter and pinpoints Key's spurious politics. Unlike Key's norm for political statements, Harawira's response appeals to a few hard core facts: which, for New Zealand politics these days (at least, as observed from the safe distance of Mexico) seems like a pretty radical stance to adopt.

Well spoken, Hone. There is nothing like showing someone the disrespect they deserve when they deserve it.

In Key's case, there should be a lot more of it.



Saturday, December 14, 2013

New book in our series! "Textile Messages"

Enormous congratulations to Leah Buechley, Kylie Peppler, Michael Eisenberg and Yasmin Kafai on their new book, Textile Messages: Dispatches From the World of E-Textiles and Education (Peter Lang, 2013).

This is a really lush production, chokkas with colour, loads of images and a gorgeous layout (makes such good sense in a book about textiles! And electronics!).

From the back cover:
Textile Messages focuses on the emerging field of electronic textiles, or e-textiles – computers that can be soft, colorful, approachable, and beautiful. E-textiles are articles of clothing, home furnishings, or architectures that include embedded computational and electronic elements. This book introduces a collection of tools that enable novices – including educators, hobbyists, and youth designers – to create and learn with e-textiles. It then examines how these tools are reshaping technology education – and DIY practices – across the K-16 spectrum, presenting examples of the ways educators, researchers, designers, and young people are employing them to build new technology, new curricula, and new creative communities.
Contents include:


This sis a clever, must-read book! Buy a copy! Buy multiple copies and give them as gifts!



Thursday, December 05, 2013

New book in our series! Crystle Martin's "Voyage Across a Constellation of Information"

Congratulations to Crystle Martin and her lovely book, Voyage Across a Constellation of Information: Information Literacy in Interest-Driven Learning Communities (Peter Lang, New York)!

From the back cover:

What do orcs, elves, and information literacy have to do with each others? Find out in Voyage across a Constellation of Information as we take an in-depth look at information literacy practices (how people find, evaluate, and use information) in the massively multiplayer online game World of Warcraft and its online community. This book teases out real-world information literacy practices by following players as they solve their information needs through collective activity, relying on and building a set of individual and collective practices within the online community. Voyage across a Constellation of Information offers educators, information professionals, and researchers an opportunity to get an inside look at the new practices of digital spaces, and lays the groundwork for inclusion of these practices into 21st-century education.

And the Table of Contents:

Chapter 1: The Affinity Space as an Information Source: The Constellation of Information
Chapter 2: Information Literacy: A Mechanism for Charting the Constellation
Chapter 3: Tools and Methods for Creating the Compass anNavigating the Constellations     
Chapter 4: An Individuals Map to Navigating the Constellation
Chapter 5: Asynchronous Information as a part of the Constellation
Chapter 6: Collective Intelligence Navigating the Constellation
Chapter 7: From a Constellation to a Galaxy

This is a timely book for U.S. educators and the shift towards a stronger focus on information texts in schools. Highly recommended (of course)!





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